Road test awaits Auburn women at Old Dominion

AUBURN, Ala. – The Auburn women’s basketball team hits the road for the first time in 2021-22 as they travel to Norfolk, Va., for a Sunday afternoon tilt with Old Dominion. Game time is set for 1 p.m. CT at Chartway Arena.
 
Auburn (0-1) looks to bounce back after dropping a heartbreaker to Georgia Southern 68-66 in the season opener Thursday night. Junior Sania Wells’ 19 points led three Tigers in double-figures, but a tough shooting night plagued Auburn as they came up just short.
 
Old Dominion (1-0) forced 35 turnovers in their opener against South Carolina State on Tuesday, earning an 80-52 win over the Bulldogs. The Monarchs had five players in double-figures and boast two starters that averaged a double-double last season.
 
Auburn is 4-3 all-time against the Monarchs. The teams last met in 2019 at Auburn Arena with ODU pulling away late for an 89-77 win. This will be Auburn’s first visit to Norfolk since 1986.
 
ON THE AIR
››           Brit Bowen will call the action from courtside on WQSI 93.9 FM, online at AuburnTigers.com and on the official Auburn Athletics mobile app.
››           The game can be seen with a subscription to ESPN+.
 
LAST TIME OUT
››           A back-and-forth game saw Auburn have its chances but ultimately come up just short to Georgia Southern 68-66 in the season opener for both teams Thursday night at Auburn Arena.
››           In a game that saw 11 ties and 12 lead changes, Auburn (1-0) pulled ahead 63-60 with just under two minutes left on an Aicha Coulibaly 3-pointer. But a defensive breakdown followed by a turnover and an open layup put the Eagles back ahead, and Auburn could not regain the advantage. A potential game-tying 3-pointer in the closing seconds missed, and the Tigers could not get another good look at the basket.
››           Poor shooting plagued the Tigers as they were 33.3 percent from the field (24-72) and 59 percent (13-22) at the free-throw line. Shooting improved late, but the Tigers missed multiple scoring opportunities with missed layups and other good looks at the basket. Foul trouble was also an issue as three Auburn players fouled out.
››           Junior Sania Wells led all scorers with a career-high 19 points to go along with 6 rebounds, 5 assists, 2 steals and 2 blocks. Coulibaly added 12 points and a team-leading 8 rebounds, and Honesty Scott-Grayson overcame early foul trouble and a scoreless first half to finish with 11 points and 7 rebounds.
 
AN AUBURN WIN WOULD…
››           Give coach Johnnie Harris her first head coaching victory.
››           Improve Auburn’s record against Old Dominion to 5-3.
››           Snap a nine-game road losing streak (last road win: Feb. 27, 2020, at Missouri).
 
AUBURN-OLD DOMINION SERIES
››           This is the eighth meeting between Auburn and Old Dominion in women’s basketball.
››           Auburn leads the series 4-3 with the series tied 1-1 in Norfolk. The teams last met in 2019 in Auburn with ODU earning an 89-77 win.
››           Auburn is 59-17 against current members of Conference USA. ODU is the only CUSA member the Tigers will face this season.
 
LAST MEETING: Nov. 14, 2019, at Auburn
Old Dominion 89, Auburn 77
››           Auburn had four players in double figures, but a fourth-quarter surge from Old Dominion led the Monarchs to an 89-77 win over the Tigers at Auburn Arena.
››           The Tigers trailed by just two points at the end of the third quarter, but Old Dominion could scarcely miss in the final 10 minutes, shooting 90 percent (9-of-10) in the fourth period and 5-of-5 on 3-pointers to break open what had been a tight game.
››           Daisa Alexander finished with 17 points and four steals to lead the Tigers. Unique Thompson picked up her second double-double in as many games with a 13-point, 10-rebound performance that saw her go 5-of-6 from the floor. Annie Hughes scored 12 points and had two steals.
 
SCOUTING OLD DOMINION
››           Old Dominion is 1-0 after forcing 35 turnovers in an 80-52 win over South Carolina State in their season opener last Tuesday.
››           The Monarchs were picked to finish second in Conference USA. Iggy Allen, Ajah Wayne and Amari Young were selected to the preseason All-CUSA team.
››           Four of five starters return from 2020-21. ODU has two players who averaged double-doubles a year ago in FAU transfer Iggy Allen (22.2 ppg/10.9 rpg) and returning starter Amari Young (13.6 ppg/11.2 rpg).
››           Allen signed with Mississippi State out of high school and was a teammate with Auburn assistant coach Ketara Chapel at MSU during the 2016-17 season.
 
SCOUTING AUBURN
››           Auburn returns 3 starters and 9 letterwinners from its 2020-21 team that finished 5-19 overall, 0-15 in SEC play.
››           Redshirt junior Honesty Scott-Grayson is the Tigers’ leading returner in most statistical categories: scoring (14.5 ppg), rebounding (4.1 rpg), assists (1.7 apg), steals (2.1 APG) and shooting (.406 FG/.301 3FG/.761 FT).
››           Junior Sania Wells and sophomore Aicha Coulibaly are expected to have a major impact on the Tigers in 2021-22. Wells will return to her natural position of point guard; she averaged 3.3 points, 0.8 rebounds and 0.8 assists last season. Coulibaly averaged 5.1 points and 3.1 rebounds as a freshman.
››           Junior Annie Hughes and redshirt senior Kiyae’ White look to be a part of the Tigers’ regular rotation as well. Hughes is the only Tiger to appear in every game each of the last two seasons; she averaged 3.0 points and 2.0 rebounds in 20-21. White missed all but one game last season, but as a redshirt sophomore in 2019-20, she averaged 4.0 points and 4.8 rebounds.
››           The Tigers will be without sophomore Romi Levy for the 2021-22 season after she suffered a torn ACL in practice just before the start of the season.
››           Transfers Xaria Wiggins and Paris Mullins look to provide depth off the bench for the Tigers, along with freshmen Amoura Graves and Mar’Shaun Bostic.
 
UP NEXT
››           The Tigers are back inside Auburn Arena Tuesday night, Nov. 16, as they host Alabama State. Game time is 7 p.m. CT.
 

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